“Well,” says the class instructor who identifies himself only as Bill, “I can’t really tell you how to win big. These are games of chance, and only the house always wins….. But,” he promises the students in his weekly four-hour class at Las Vegas’ Grandview Hotel, “I will give you tips to improve your chances and maybe keep you in the game longer.”
Bill’s parents were in the business, so he has grown up with cards and in his hands they flow and dance. He grew up with gambling too, and knows how to work the games so that he makes money. “I was thrown out of a few roulette casinos when I was younger. They don’t like it when you make too much off the house. But I soon learned to quit before it got that far. I like to be able to come back the next week.”
Betting Money Management Basics
“If you treat your time in a roulette casino as entertainment, gambling money management will give you more fun because your stake will last longer.”
For overall money management strategy, Bill offers his students a wide variety of tips.
Money Management Strategy#1: Learn Where to Sit
Pick your seat carefully – where a new player sits can affect the outcome, Bill claims.
In blackjack, for example, Bill says that the dealer’s right (table left) is the best spot for a good player, but the worst seat for a new player.
Dealer left (table right) is the second worst spot for a new player.
The reason? These are decision seats. A new player’s best spot is in the middle in most games.
Money Management Strategy #2: Know Where and When to Play
Bill suggests that new players skip “The Strip” in Las Vegas and instead go to the smaller, older casinos a few blocks away or in nearby towns. “You’ll have just as much fun and your money will last a lot longer.”
Go mid-week in the afternoon. Play is slower, tables are emptier, dealers have more time. This is a good time to find a friendly dealer and explain that you want to learn how to play.
Take it easy on the alcohol. “If you’re a player, if you’re spending money, they’ll give you free drinks. It’s too easy to have too many and lose sight of your strategy” (and your money!)
Money Management Strategy #3: Use the Help Cards
Take your “cheat card” – Every casino will issue you a card with the odds just like the fibonacci roulette system and play of each game. They’re legal and helpful. They’re sometimes free, and usually inexpensive. Bill sells his own version for $5 per game (blackjack, craps, roulette, etc) and refers to them throughout his classes so that students learn what they’re for, how they work, and when and how to use them.
“But you use them in practice and you get good with them. Other players may be pissed if you slow down the action on a hot table to fuss with your card.”
Obviously, the best way not to lose money gambling is not to gamble, but most tourists are willing to take a fling; that’s why they come to a casino. “If you’re a recreational player,” Bill concludes, “you’re not here for high-stakes games. You’re here to enjoy the lights, the excitement, and the emotional roller coaster of wins and losses.
“Remember, the house wants you to lose. But with good gambling money management strategy, you’ll lose less, win more, and your money will last longer. You’ll have more fun.”
Warning Signs and Help For Compulsive Gambling Addiction
Gambling problems are on the rise. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, in a given year, 2 million, or 1% of Americans meet the criteria for pathological gambling. Another 4-6 million, or 2-3% who do not meet the criteria for pathological gamblers are considered problem gamblers.
Though many people are able to gamble responsibly, compulsive gambling addiction can become a serious problem for the addicted gambler and his or her family. The results are not only loss of money, but may include the emotional loss of spending time with friends and family.
Types of Gambling That May Lead to Addiction
Any game that is played for money is considered a form of gambling. Common types of casino gambling include table card games such as poker and blackjack, and electronic gambling by use of slot machines.
Not all forms of gambling take place at a casino. Online gambling is also rising in popularity, and can lead to addiction. Other forms of gambling may include betting on sports events such as basketball and football games and dog or horse races. Buying lottery or scratch-off tickets and betting on office pools is also considered gambling.
How to Recognize Warning Signs of a Gambling Addiction
People gamble for many reasons. For most it begins as a form of recreation. Others may be attracted to the challenge of winning. Others may gamble to escape boredom or unhappiness at home.
Gambling ceases to become fun and begins to become a problem when the desire to gamble gets out of control. The addicted gambler may begin to skip work and spend a good portion of their paycheck at the casino.
Warning signs of gambling addiction may include:
Taking time from work to gamble
Borrowing money to gamble
Gambling until the last dollar is gone
Increased absence from work or home
If left unchecked, a gambling addiction can eventually result in job loss and serious debt problems. Absence from home can ruin relationships. In extreme cases, excessive gambling can lead to criminal activity, depression, and even suicide.
Where to Seek Help for a Gambling Addiction
Many people are not able to deal with their gambling addiction because they do not recognize the problem, are reluctant to ask for help, or do not know where to go for help.
The Gambler’s Anonymous Official Website has a series of twenty questions which can determine whether gambling has become a serious problem.
Support groups such as Gambler’s Anonymous can be very helpful in overcoming a gambling addiction. Other types of treatment include individual counseling such as cognitive behavior therapy.